Earley, Davis, Thomas Named All-SEC

NASHVILLE - Vanderbilt senior forward Ashley Earley became the first Commodore to earn All-SEC First-Team honors since the 2002-03 season and the Commodores placed three players on either the first or second teams when the Southeastern Conference announced its 2005 women's basketball postseason awards Tuesday. Sophomores Carla Thomas and Dee Davis were each named Second-Team All-SEC.

Vanderbilt and LSU led all schools in placing three players on either the first or second team. It was also the first time since the 2001-02 season that the Commodores had three players named All-SEC and the first time under VU head coach Melanie Balcomb.

Earley was one of four players that were unanimous picks to the first-team. The senior from Memphis native posted a league-leading nine double-doubles in SEC play while averaging 17.4 points and 10.4 rebounds in conference play. A 2005 John R. Wooden Nominee and Naismith Trophy candidate, Earley leads the team averaging 18.3 points and 9.6 rebounds. She ranks third in the nation in field goal percentage (.636) and led the SEC in the category. Earley recorded five 20-point games in league play and averaged 20.9 points and 12.1 rebounds in road SEC games. She is the first Commodore since Chantelle Anderson to earn first team honors.

Thomas (right) averaged 18.3 points and 6.1 rebounds in conference play while ranking fourth in the league in scoring in SEC games. She shot 87.3 percent from the free throw line in league play and 56.2 percent from the field. She posted two 30-point performances in league play. She scored a career-high 33 points at Mississippi State and added 32 points in a road win at Auburn.

Davis (below) ran the Commodore offense finishing second in the SEC in assists and assist/turnover ratio. She averaged 12.9 points and 5.6 assists in league play. She earned the final SEC Player of the Week honor this season. She ranked fifth in the SEC in free throw percentage (.842) in league games.

LSU's Seimone Augustus was named SEC Player of the Year and Georgia's Tasha Humphrey earned Freshman of the Year. First-team and second-team All-SEC honorees, All-Freshman team, along with Player, Coach and Freshman, Defensive Player, 6th Woman and Scholar-Athlete of the Year were chosen by the league's 12 coaches.

Augutus, along with Tasha Humphrey, Tan White and Earley were unanimous first-team members. While Humphrey, Sylvia Fowles, Alexis Hornbuckle and Nikki Anosike were unanimous all-freshman members. Ole Miss' Armintie Price was named Defensive Player of the Year, while LSU freshman Sylvia Fowles was named 6th Woman of the Year. Arkansas' Sarah Pfeifer was named the SEC Women's Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year. LSU's Pokey Chatman, in her first year as head coach was named SEC Coach of the Year. This season the Lady Tigers finished the regular season with a 27-1 overall record and a perfect 14-0 conference ecord. The only loss came at Rutgers in early January.

The 2005 SEC Women's Basketball Tournament begins Thursday, Mar. 3 and runs through Sunday, Mar. 6 in Greenville, S.C.. SEC's regional sports network (FSN South, FSN Southwest and Sunshine Network) will televise all games on Thursday, Friday and Saturday while ESPN2 will broadcast the championship game at 7 p.m. ET.

Vanderbilt opens the tournament Friday night at 8:15 p.m. (CT) when the No. 3 seed Commodores take on the winner of the game between Mississippi State and Arkansas.

The complete 2005 SEC Women's Basketball Postseason Awards follow.

First Team All-SEC

Natasha Brackett, Auburn
*Tasha Humphrey, Georgia
*Seimone Augustus, LSU
Temeka Johnson, LSU
Armintie Price, Ole Miss
*Tan White, Mississippi State
Shyra Ely, Tennessee
*Ashley Earley, Vanderbilt

*unanimous choice

Second Team All-SEC

Monique Bivins, Alabama
Bernice Mosby, Florida
Sara Potts, Kentucky
Sylvia Fowles, LSU
Amber Watts, Ole Miss
Shanna Zolman, Tennessee
Carla Thomas, Vanderbilt
Dee Davis, Vanderbilt

All-Freshman Team

Alexis Ogubie, Auburn
Megan Darrah, Georgia
*Tasha Humphrey, Georgia
Sarah Elliott, Kentucky
Samantha Mahoney, Kentucky
Quianna Chaney, LSU
*Sylvia Fowles, LSU
*Alexis Hornbuckle, Tennessee
*Nicky Anosike, Tennessee

Coach of the Year: Pokey Chatman, LSU
Player of the Year: Seimone Augustus, LSU
Freshman of the Year: Tasha Humphrey, Georgia
Defensive Player of the Year: Armintie Price, Ole Miss
6th Woman of the Year: Sylvia Fowles, LSU
Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Sarah Pfeifer, Arkansas

Note: Carla Thomas photo by Whitney D. of VandyMania.com. Dee Davis photo by Neil Brake of Vanderbilt U.

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